Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters


Institute of Humanities




This accelerated degree program makes it possible for students with a demonstrated record of academic excellence to earn both a B.A. or B.S. in their discipline and an M.A. in humanities in five years. Exceptional majors in Art, Art History, Communication, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Women's Studies can to take 12 hours of graduate courses while completing their undergraduate degree. Graduate courses taken will be counted towards both an undergraduate and graduate degree.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the program, students must declare a major in Art, Art History, Communication, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Women's Studies B.A or B.S. and complete a minimum of at least 60 undergraduate credit hours, including at least six hours of 300/400 level courses in the major. At the time of admission to the accelerated program, students must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or better.

Admission Procedure

Interested students who meet the admission requirements should apply to the humanities graduate program director as soon as possible after completing the required 60 undergraduate hours. In consultation with the chair or director of their department and the humanities graduate program director, students will:

  1. Draft a schedule of graduate courses to be taken as an undergraduate, which will be placed in the student's undergraduate and graduate advising files.
  2. Submit an Old Dominion University graduate application, a 500-word personal statement, a sample critical/analytical essay or research paper, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores to the Office of Admissions during their senior year.

Students will be officially admitted into the M.A. in humanities program once they have been awarded their bachelor's degree and have fulfilled all regular admission requirements for the M.A. in humanities. (Please refer to the appropriate section of this catalog for information on the requirements for the bachelor's degree in (Art, Art History, Communication, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Women's Studies.)

Bridge Courses

Students admitted to the accelerated program may count up to 12 hours of bridge courses (graduate courses taken as an undergraduate) for which they have earned a grade of B (3.0) or better toward both the specific B.A. or B.S. and the M.A. in humanities. These courses may be 500 or 600 level courses within or cross-listed with the discipline, or approved graduate courses. Any 500-level course that is cross listed with a 400-level course may be substituted for the 400 level-course. However, all students must complete an undergraduate writing intensive course in the major. Students who complete less than 12 bridge course credits may fulfill humanities program requirements by taking courses during summer sessions and/or an additional semester; however, all students are required to fulfill a minimum of six bridge course credits in order to be eligible to continue in the accelerated program.

The M.A. in Humanities

Students in the accelerated program will fulfill all normal admission and curricular requirements for both a B.A. or B.S. in their discipline and an M.A. in humanities, with the following exceptions, conditions, and requirements.

      In addition, all students, regardless of their concentration, are required to take:

   HUM 601 Introduction to the Humanities                                                                                3

   HUM 602 Theory and Methods in Humanities                                                                       3     

   HUM 603 Preparing Humanities Teachers & Scholars Pro-seminar                               3

   HUM 694* Interdisciplinarity and the Humanities: Theory and Practice                            3

* HUM 694, the capstone seminar for accelerated humanities M.A. students, will be taken in the final semester of study before the completion of the M.A. degree. Students will be required to complete a substantive research project which is scholarly in nature, reflecting the student's training in the discipline and the humanities.

No more than 12 hours of graduate credit at the 500-level may be applied to the M.A. in humanities.

Students will not be permitted to take any 500-level course that they have already taken at the undergraduate 400 level.

Art/Art History students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Art. Students must take ARTH 610 Visual Arts Across Media and Time. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Art/Art History will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Art or its director of graduate studies.

Communication students must take at least two 600-level graduate courses offered by the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts. Courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Communication and Theatre Arts must correspond to the student's declared concentration area. No more than six credit hours may be concentrated in any one department other than Humanities or Communication and Theatre Arts.

Geography students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Political Science and Geography. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Political Science Department and Geography will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Political Science and Geography or its director of graduate studies.

Philosophy students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Philosophy and Religious Studies will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies or its director of graduate studies.

Women's Studies students will be required to take graduate-level courses that focus on women and/or gender in relation to various aspects of culture and the humanities. Students may elect graduate courses in women's studies, as well as courses that are cross-listed with women's studies, from any designated humanities or social science department, such as history, linguistics, literature, sociology, psychology, international studies, etc., or courses approved by the director of women's studies. However, no more than six credit hours may be concentrated in any one discipline other than humanities and women's studies.

There is no thesis option for students in the accelerated M.A. in humanities program. Students who wish to write a thesis may elect at any time to change over to the standard 36 credit, thesis-track, humanities program.
Upon completion of 30 graduate credits, students will be awarded the M.A. in humanities with a concentration in communication, philosophy, individualized interdisciplinary studies, visual studies, human geography, or women's studies.

Upon completion of 30 graduate credits, students will be awarded the M.A. in humanities with a concentration in communication, philosophy, individualized interdisciplinary studies, visual studies, human geography, or women's studies.